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    Liverpool 1-1 Everton Match Report


    Wayne Rooney scored his first ever goal in a Merseyside derby to earn Everton a point from a controversial encounter at Anfield that was dominated by the home side.

    Liverpool appeared to be coasting towards a comfortable victory after Mohamed Salah had given his team a first-half lead but the visitors were handed an unlikely route back into the match from the penalty spot.

    Jurgen Klopp's side enjoyed a 79 per cent share of the possession and had 23 efforts on goal, 20 more than their opponents, but were made to pay the price for their profligacy throughout the game as well as the decision to play a weakened line-up.

    Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino were both surprisingly named amongst the substitutes, while striker Dominic Solanke, who has never scored a senior goal in English football, started only his second Premier League match.

    Despite the changes in personnel, Liverpool dominated the first-half but struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities against a well-organised Everton defence and were often lulled into shooting from long-range.

    The breakthrough finally came, however, three minutes before the break when Mohamed Salah produced the game's outstanding moment of quality to give his team the lead with his 19th goal of the season.

    The Egyptian international weaved past the challenges of Cuco Martina and Idrissa Gueye with some intricate footwork before placing the ball unerringly into the top left-hand corner of the net from 11 yards out.

    Liverpool's lead was then nearly doubled in first-half stoppage time when Sadio Mane had the chance to pick out three of his teammates, who each had a clear sight of goal, but he instead dragged a left-footed effort wide of goal.

    Everton, who offered very little throughout the match from an attacking viewpoint, had to wait until the final seconds of the half for an attempt on goal but Gylfi Sigurdsson's speculative strike was easily saved by an underworked Simon Mignolet.

    The home side continued to lay siege to the visitors' goal after the break but they found their opponents difficult to break down, with Salah missing Liverpool's best chance as he headed narrowly wide from James Milner's pinpoint cross.

    Mane also came close to doubling his team's lead when he was inches away from turning in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's tantalising cross, while Trent Alexander-Arnold headed onto the roof of the net as he attacked a Salah free-kick.

    The Reds were ultimately made to pay the price for not scoring the all-important second goal as they were caught on a rare counter-attack, which ended when Dominic Calvert-Lewin was bundled to the ground inside the 18-yard box.

    The level of contact from Dejan Lovren, despite being minimal, was enough for Craig Pawson to point to the spot and allowed Wayne Rooney the chance to fire the resulting penalty into the centre of the goal in emphatic fashion.

    There was still 13 minutes for Liverpool to score a winning goal but neither Coutinho or Firmino, who were both introduced as second-half substitutes, were able to make the most of chances that came their way.

    Coutinho's free-kick from over 25 yards out was smartly saved by Jordan Pickford as it headed towards the top left-hand corner, while the stretching Firmino was unable to turn Andrew Robertson's back-post cross into the net from close-range.

    The draw, on a weekend when Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal all dropped points, was a missed opportunity for Jurgen Klopp's side to steal a march on their rivals as they remained in fourth-place.

    The Reds will need to be more clinical in-front of goal if they are to beat West Brom at Anfield on Wednesday, while Klopp may have second-thoughts regarding his policy of resting key players after his latest gamble failed to pay-off.

    Everton, meanwhile, provided further evidence that the club have turned a corner since the appointment of Sam Allardyce as manager with another well-organised and gritty performance.

    The Toffees remain in 10th place as they prepare for Wednesday's away clash against Newcastle United, who have taken only one point from their last seven Premier League matches.
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    Item Reviewed: Liverpool 1-1 Everton Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Richard Tufft
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